Tamás Kolosi

Tamás Kolosi
founder and president of TÁRKI
kolosi at tarki dot hu
CV (pdf)
Kolosi Tamás


Kolosi founded TÁRKI in 1985. Previously he worked for the Institute for Social Research (Hungary), where he led several major sociological study on social stratification, social structure, inequalities and value orientations. He formulated a multi-dimensional approach to the inequalities of state socialist system based on large scale empirical surveys. Kolosi developed a theory of late socialist social structure. In his view (state) redistributive and small scale private economy formed a dual system of stratification during the seventies and eighties in Hungary. This is the so-called "L-model" of reform socialist Hungarian society. Meanwhile Kolosi played key role in the introduction of mathematical statistical methods and tools in Hungarian social science. He continued the study of transforming social structure after 1989/1990. His research interest includes the problem of empirical measurement in social sciences, life styles, elite formations during post-communist transition.

He is also turned to be successful businessman in the book publishing industry during the nineties. He is the president and CEO of the Lira Inc. Between 1989-1990 Tamás Kolosi was advisor to the Prime Minister, Mr. Miklós Németh and between (1998-2002) Mr. Viktor Orbán.

Key references

1974 Candidate of Sociology at Hungarian Academy of Sciences (HAS)
1981-1985 Stratification model study
1985 Doctor of Science (D.Sc.) at Hungarian Academy of Sciences)
1985 Foundation of TÁRKI Joint Social Research Center
1986-1994 International Social Survey Program national coordinator
1984-85  University professor (Darmstadt, Germany)
1982-1987 Associate professor of sociology, ELTE University (Budapest)
1987- Professor of sociology, ELTE University (Budapest)
1990- Editor of Social Report series
1992-1997 Hungarian Household Panel Scientific Board member
1998 Foundation of TÁRKI Social Research Institute Inc.

Selected list of publication

Kolosi Tamás and Edmund Wnuk-Lipinski (eds.). 1983. Equality and Inequality under Socialism: Poland and Hungary Compared. London: International Sociological Association.

Andorka, Rudolf and Tamás Kolosi (eds.). 1984. Stratification and Inequalities. Budapest: Institute of Social Sciences.

Kolosi, Tamás., Peschar, J. and Róbert, P. 1985. "On reduction of social reproduction. A Hungarian–Netherlands comparison on the changing effects of social origin and education on the occupational position." in: M. Kaiser, R. Nuthmann and H. Stegmann (eds), Berufliche Verbleibsforschung in der Diskussion. Materialband 2, Nuremberg: IAB, pp. 3–28.

Kolosi, Tamás. 1988. "Stratification and Social Structure in Hungary." Annual Review of Sociology. Vol. 14. P. 405-419.

Abstract: The study of social structure represents an important field of sociological research in the European socialist countries. At first, the objective of these studies was to revise the ideological model of society developed during the period of Stalinism, a model that distinguished "two allied classes"--the working class and the peasantry--and "one stratum"--the intelligentsia. Later, as knowledge developed, scientific interest shifted from ideological criticism to exploring and understanding actual social conditions. The present paper briefly touches upon these ideological and scientific developments and makes an attempt to build a model that represents both the system of reproduction and the system of inequality of Hungarian society.


Haller, Max, Tamás Kolosi, and Róbert Péter. 1990. "Soziale Mobilitat in Osterreich, in der Tschechoslowakei und in Ungarn: Eine vergleichende Analyse der Effekte von Industrialisierung, sozialistischen Revolutionen und nationaler Eigen heit." (Social Mobility in Austria, Czechoslovakia, and Hungary: A Comparative Survey on the Effects of Industrialization, Socialist Revolution, and National Identity.) Journal fur Sozialforschung, 30, 1: 33-72.

Kolosi, Tamás. 1992. "Beliefs About Inequality in International Perspective" in: Social Report edited by Rudolf Andorka, Tamás Kolosi, György Vukovich. Budapest: TÁRKI.

Kolosi, Tamás, Szelényi, Iván, Szelényi, Szonja and Western, Bruce 1991: "Politikai mezõk a posztkommunista átmenet korszakában. Pártok és osztályok a magyar politikában (1989-1990)" (Political fields in postcommunist transition period. Parties and classes in Hungarian politics 1989-1990), in: Szociológiai Szemle, 1, No. 1, 5-34.

Kolosi, Tamás, Szelényi, Iván, Szelényi, Szonja and Western, Bruce. 1992. "The Making of Political Fields in Post-communist Transition. Dynamics of class and party in Hungarian politics, 1989-90." In: Post-Communist Transition. Emerging Pluralism in Hungary. London, New York, 1992. Pinter Publ., St. Martin's Publ. 132-162. p.

Evans, M.D.R., Jonathan Kelley, and Tamás Kolosi. 1992. "Images of Class: Public Perceptions in Hungary and Australia," American Sociological Review, 57 (August, 1992), 461-482.

Kolosi, Tamás and Róna-Tas, Ákos 1992. "Az utolsókból lesznek az elsõk? A rendszerváltás társadalmi hatásai Magyarországon" (The First Shall Be The Last? Social impacts of system change in Hungary), in: Szociológiai Szemle, 2, No. 2, 3-26.

Kolosi Tamás and  Ákos Róna-Tas. 1992. "The Last Shall be the First? The Social Consequences of the Transition from Socialism in Hungary." paper presented at the meeting of the ISA Research Committee.


Abstract: The uniqueness of the transition from socialism is that unlike the transitions from authoritarian rules to democracy in the Mediterranean and Latin American countries, it attempts to achieve two transitions simultaneously. Like in transitions from authoritarian regimes it is a political transition whereby political institutions are refashioned, new political elites emerge and political power is redistributed. But this is only one, probably, the easier, transition these countries have to go through. Unlike in transitions from authoritarian regimes, socialist countries also have to engineer an economic transition, which moves their centrally planned or directed economies towards a market economy. The transition from a socialist to a market economy requires new economic institutions, the emerging of new economic elite and a redistribution of property and material well-being. This dual transition will profoundly alter the social structure of these countries. Some people will lose and some will gain power and wealth, some will see their life chances improve dramatically others will see a marked deterioration in their opportunities. What are the social consequences of the transition from socialism? How does the social transition change the social structure? Who is best able to take advantage of new opportunities? What happens to the old elite of Communist cadres? Who is going to become the new elite? What happens to the 'middle class'? These are some of the questions in the forefront of public debate in Eastern Europe and these are the questions this paper is going to address.


Kolosi Tamás and Iván Szelényi. 1993. "Social change and research on social structure in Hungary, 1960-1990" In: Birgitta Nedelmann and Piotr Sztompka (eds). Sociology in Europe. Berlin- New York: de Gruter, pp.140-163

Braun, M. and T. Kolosi. 1994. "Wandel der Einstellungen zu sozialer Ungleichheit in Deutschland und Ungarn." in: M. Braun and P. Ph. Mohler (eds), Blickpunkt gesellschaft 3. Einstellungen und verhalten der Bundesbürger, Opladen: Westdeutscher Verlag.

Kolosi, Tamás, Kluegel, J., Csepeli, G.,  Örkény, A., Neményi, M. 1995. "Accounting for the Rich and the Poor: Existential Justice in Comparative Perspective." In: Klugel, J., Mason, D., Wegener, B. (Eds.). Social justice and Political Change: Public Opinion in Capitalist and Post-communist States. (pp. 179 – 207). New York: Aldine de Gruyter

Kolosi Tamás, G. I. Tóth and G. Vukovich (eds.). 1998. Social Report 1998 Budapest: TÁRKI.

Andorka, Rudolf, Tamás Kolosi and Richard Rose. (eds.) 1999. A society transformed. Hungary in time-space perspective. Budapest: CEU Press.

Kolosi, Tamás and Sági, Matild. 1999.: "Change of System - Change of Elite." in: Spéder, Zsolt (ed.). Hungary in Flux. Society, Politics and Transformation., , Hamburg, Krämer Verlag.

Kolosi, Tamás. 2000. A terhes babapiskóta. (The pregnant 'ladyfinger'), Budapest, Osiris.